“Marjorie Pay Hinckley Dies at 92,” Ensign, May 2004, 124
For 67 years, Marjorie Pay Hinckley kept pace with her husband, President Gordon B. Hinckley, as he traveled the world. On 6 April 2004, her mortal journey ended. Surrounded by family and loved ones, Sister Hinckley quietly passed from this world to the next due to causes incident to age. Born on 23 November 1911, she was 92.
Often expressing surprise at the course her life had taken, Sister Hinckley often joked, “How did a nice girl like me end up in a mess like this?” In an interview with Church magazines several months before her death, Sister Hinckley said, “Well, it turned out better than I expected. It has been a good life.” Known for her caring heart and quick wit, she told Church magazines, “If we can’t laugh at life, we are in big trouble” (see “At Home with the Hinckleys,” Liahona, Oct. 2003, 32–37; Ensign, Oct. 2003, 22–27), and at her funeral services she was eulogized as “charity personified.”
As evidence of the countless lives she touched, thousands attended a public viewing, some of them standing in line outside on a blustery spring day for more than three hours. Thousands attended the funeral held in the Tabernacle on 10 April, and tens of thousands more watched on television and by satellite broadcast.
“She conversed with kings and queens. She loved little children,” President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said of Sister Hinckley’s ability to relate to people from all walks of life. “There was no flaw in her character. … Like the Master, Marjorie went about doing good.”
“She had such a good life,” said President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “All of us would benefit from following her faith, commitment, and devotion.”
During the funeral services, the Hinckleys’ five children—Kathleen, Richard, Virginia, Clark, and Jane—shared quotes from Sister Hinckley and gave expressions of gratitude to their mother. Clark Hinckley read a letter written by President Hinckley to his wife after nearly 60 years of marriage. “My darling, … I have known you for a long time … and it has turned out as I had hoped it would. … Now we have grown old together. … And when in some future day the hand of death gently touches one or the other of us, there will be tears, yes, but there will also be a quiet and certain assurance of reunion and eternal companionship.”
Sheri L. Dew, former member of the Relief Society general presidency and biographer of President Hinckley, said that while 12 million members together cannot take Sister Hinckley’s place, each would be praying that President Hinckley would have the strength to carry on. She said that each member would try a little harder in order to ease the prophet’s burden.